Photos: Sudbury Light Event Photography
SUDBURY, Ont. – Backed by a second consecutive shutout posted by Charlie Burns, the surging Blind River Beavers skated to their seventh Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League victory in succession Wednesday after blanking the French River Rapids 6-0 in the finale of the NOJHL Showcase at Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex.
Continuing to roll, the Beavers wasted little time in opening the scoring as defenceman Owen Arnold fired a shot off the end boards that came out the other side of the net where a waiting Jesse Dupuis was there to slam it in 32 seconds into the proceedings on French River starter Ben Gustafson.
A second Blind River tally came late in the first as Josh Tomasi was left with a tap-in after a feed from Dupuis and additional help courtesy of Caleb Minns.
Up a pair heading into the second stanza, and after successfully handling being down two skaters due to penalties, Blind River extended their lead at 12:34 and they broke out on a two-on-one where Thomas Dimoulas was stopped by Gustafson, but the rebound went right to Gavin Rocha, who promptly buried it.
Not done there, they came back with another just over a minute later, moments after Burns had foiled a Rapids breakaway, and saw Michael Gallagher counter in transition as he banged one in from the left of the net following a couple of earlier opportunities for his side.
Dupuis then got the rebound of his own rising shot that hit Gustafson up high and was quick to notch his second of the night.
One more from Tomasi in the third, with a sharp wrister from the right circle, helped put the game out of reach and conclude the night’s scoring.
For Burns, he is now on a run of 121 minutes and 32 seconds without allowing a goal.
The league-leading Beavers also improved to 9-1-0-0 with the triumph, while French River saw a modest two-game winning streak come to a close in defeat.
NOJHL regular season play continues Thursday as the two front-runners, points wise, in Blind River and the Greater Sudbury Cubs, square off back at Gerry McCrory at 7:05 p.m., and on HockeyTV.com.